Osian stays strong through day two of Wales Rally GB
Osian stays strong through day two of Wales Rally GB
Wales Rally GB home hero Osian Pryce has continued to impress on the second day of Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship today.
The focus of the event switched to stages closer to the Deeside service park for another bright and sunny day in the Welsh woods. Clocaenog forest, near Ruthin, was first up, followed by a trip around Lake Bala to Aberhirnant and Dyfnant tests.
The morning was concluded by a single dash around the Chirk Castle RallyFest stage, designed to appeal to families, the all-asphalt test was a huge hit with thousands turning out to cheer Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss on.
Wales Rally GB is Osian’s first competitive outing in a four-wheel drive car and the four-time British Rally Championship event winner has made a big impact on the World Rally Championship. Despite never having driven a car like the Ford Fiesta R5 he’s using on the biggest rally of his life, he set a fastest time in his class – beating some of the world’s fastest and finest up and coming rally drivers – on just the fourth stage of the event.
Today, Osian found the opening two stages (SS9/10 – Clocaenog East and Main) slippery. The softer, muddier nature of the Conwy stages caught many of the drivers out. Despite the tough conditions, the CA1 Sport-run Ford Fiesta R5, backed by THORUtilities, Red Kite (Manufacturing), Swift Group, G&M Pryce, Morris Plant Hire, S. J. & S. Williams Ltd and DMACK, maintained a provisional podium position in the RC2 class.
The lack of grip was a common complaint throughout the field and, just like it did yesterday, conditions would worsen through the afternoon. Unfortunately for Osian, a puncture on the final stage of the day, cost him time and dropped him down the class leaderboard. Despite that, the Machynlleth star is ready to fight back through tomorrow’s final day of Wales Rally GB.
Osian said: “Today’s stages have been really tricky at times. The surface on the second run at them has been quite polished with very little grip at all. But I’ve absolutely loved it. Driving this car gives you just an amazing feeling and I’m still learning about it.
“Like yesterday, I’ve been driving within myself today. I’m here to get experience of four-wheel drive for the future and that’s why we haven’t been on the limit or pushing the car or ourselves to the maximum. The car has been fantastic. We took a big hit on the second run through Clocaenog this afternoon, but it was absolutely fine – the Fiesta R5 is an incredible car and CA1 Sport has done an amazing job in preparing it for us.
“The puncture in the final stage was a bit of a shame really, we carried it for about 12 kilometres, but it’s one of those things. The atmosphere in the dark stages tonight was fantastic, seeing all the fireworks and the camera flashes was just fantastic – it reminded me of the days when I used to come out and watch Colin McRae on this event in the late Nineties. The plan for the final day is more of the same, more experience and more smiles in this amazing car!”
Today in numbers: Osian did what, when in his class?
SS9: 9thfastest (3rdin class)
SS10: 9thfastest (3rdin class)
SS11: 8thfastest (4thin class)
SS12: N/A stage neutralised
SS13: 10thfastest (4thin class)
SS14: 9thfastest (5thin class)
SS15: 7thfastest (5thin class)
SS16: 9thfastest (5thin class)
SS17: 10thfastest (7thin class)
Tomorrow in detail: the final day
Start: Deeside 0705
Three stages run twice
Finish: Llandudno 1319
Longest stage: Dyfnant (10.81km/6.71 miles)
Sunday’s final day returns the crews to the stages just outside Ruthin, for a run through Brenig and Alwen. The two loops of those tests are punctuated by two laps of the mixed-surface Kinmel Park stage. Emerging from Brenig, this year’s World Rally Championship season draws to a close alongside the lake – with a champagne finish to follow in Llandudno.
The Ford Fiesta R5: Osian’s ride this week in detail
Engine: M-Sport developed 1.6 turbo, direct injection powerplant developing 270bhp. FIA regulated 32mm restrictor. Life Racing engine control unit and power management systems.
Bodyshell: M-Sport designed bespoke rollcage. R5 aero package.
Transmission: Sadev 5-speed sequential gearbox mated to Sadev front and rear differentials.
Suspension: front and rear MacPherson struts with Reiger external reservoir dampers, three-way adjustable. Front and rear anti roll-bar options.
Interior: FIA 8862 Standard Competition Seats with 6-point, HANS compatible harnesses. AP Racing fly-by-wire, fully adjustable pedal box. Life Racing fully functional drivers display controlled by a membrane switch panel.
Brakes: AP Racing forged 4-piston front and rear calipers. Vented discs 300 x 28mm. Hydraulic Handbrake.
Wheels: 7 x 15-inch.
The history lesson: Britain’s biggest rally
Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship is older than the World Rally Championship itself. Wales Rally GB – or the RAC Rally as it was known back then – first ran in 1932. The winner was decided from a series of driving tests and the competitive element was almost secondary to the social occasion.
All of that changed in 1960, when the first special stage was run up Monument Hill in Argyl, Scotland. From then on, the event took the forestry commission roads and has stayed there since. The World Rally Championship was formed in 1973 and the RAC Rally was a founding round and has remained on the calendar since.
With multi-national sponsors such as Lombard and Network Q, the event moved around the country regularly, starting from London some years and York or Harrogate on others. In 2000, the event moved to Cardiff after the Welsh Assembly Government agreed funding for the event. It has remained within Wales ever since.
Wales Rally GB moved north from the capital to Deeside last year, in an effort to draw in more spectators from major urban areas such as Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester. The switch to a route drawing on the forests of mid and north Wales was seen as a great success. And this year’s event is sold out to competitors for the first time since it moved to Wales 14 years ago.
About Osian Pryce
Date of birth: 24.02.93
Co-driver: Dale Furniss
First rally: Rally Kurzeme (Latvia) August 2009 – 37thoverall, eighth 2WD
British Rally Championship event wins: 4
British Rally Championship results: 2nd(2013/14), 3rd(2012)
World Rally Championship starts: 2
World Rally Championship class wins: 1
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About Wales Rally GB
Date: November 13-16
Competitive distance: 189 miles (305 kilometres)
Total distance: 846 miles (1363 kilometres)
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